Lego-ing great guns: cathedral model raises £50,000 in six months

The Northern Echo: TV presenter Jonathan Foyle helps launch the Lego model campaign TV presenter Jonathan Foyle helps launch the Lego model campaign

CATHEDRAL leaders have thanked the public for its support after almost 50,000 bricks in its Lego model were snapped up in less than six months.

Back in July, Durham Cathedral launched its Lego model initiative – to sell for £1 each 350,000 ‘bricks’ in a 1.7m-high scale model of the 900-year-old treasure.

The money raised will go towards the £1m public appeal element of the Cathedral’s game-changing £10m Open Treasure project, which will transform the World Heritage Site’s visitor experience with top-class exhibition spaces fit to display the countless hidden treasures from its vaults and stunning artefacts loaned from across the globe.

Almost six months on, almost 50,000 Lego bricks have been sold and the model, in the Cathedral’s undercroft, is quickly taking shape, aided by an army of nearly 60 volunteer ‘Lego makers’.

The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, the Dean of Durham, said: “The Lego Cathedral has captured the imagination of young and old in a big way.

“I am not the only person who has loved watching it grow this year. Children are especially fascinated by it.

“Thank you to all who have helped build it so far, thank you to the Durham Times (The Northern Echo’s sister paper) for naming donors who have given £5 or more, and thank you to our wonderful team of skilled volunteers who have overseen this big construction project.

“We all look forward to seeking it grow towards the sky during 2014.”

The campaign has won support from TV presenters George Clarke, Jeremy Vine and Jonathan Foyle, businesses, schools, churches and more.

During the four days of November’s Lumiere festival, more than 5,000 bricks were added.

When finished, the model will be 3.84m long, 1.53m wide and 1.7m high.

The last few months have also seen two other notable successes.

In the summer, the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England gave Open Treasure the legal go-ahead, paving the way for work to begin early in the New Year.

Then in November, the Heritage Lottery Fund agreed a £3.9m grant towards the £10m scheme.

To support the Lego campaign, visit the Cathedral, go online to durhamcathedral.co.uk or call 0191-375-5256.

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